2014-07-23 A wooded hike across the park - Asticou Trail & Eliot Mountain

After our Lighthouse Tour, Gary headed home and I headed out for a short hike - about 3 miles starting at Jordan Pond, ending at Asticou Terraces, taking advantage of the free shuttle to pick me up at the other end. Jordan Pond-Asticou Trail is a mostly easy path skirting the bottom of the mountains, plus a modest climb up Eliot Mountain and no rock scrambling - a nice stretch after the previous day's 8+ miles climbing stairways. Asticou Trail had some restoration underway, and new stone steps being placed. Other than the park staff and volunteers working on the trail, I only encountered two other people on the entire walk. A peaceful stroll through serene woods.

From the back of Jordan Pond House

Start by following the trails towards Penobscot and Sargent

Trail skirts the base of Penobscot Mtn

Trail improvements in progress

The first mile or two were being restored

A beautiful walk amongst mature woods

Crossing carriage roads at several points

Penobscot Mtn South Ridge trail heads up to the right

A couple of beautiful bridges along the way

More trail construction

Placing granite steps

Using pulleys to move and position the stones

Stone stairways in place

I turned here heading for Eliot Mountain and Thuya Gardens

Still evidence of the hurricane

Much of this trail is outside the national park

Lots of options - had to reference my map several times

The cairn tells me I'm heading in the right direction

Memorial at the top of Eliot Mountain

Summit of Eliot Mountain offers peek views of Somes Sound

Several more junctions along the way

Approaching Thuya Gardens

Entering Thuya Gardens from the trail

Beautiful grounds

Manicured pathways

and beautiful flower beds

The gate into Thuya Gardens is magnificent

Heading down Asticou Terraces

I've been here before but last time it was foggy

Blue skies and what a view

The stone staircases of the terraces are spectacular

Just a few steps further to Hwy 3 where the Island Explorer will take me home

2014-07-23 Morning Lighthouse Cruise

We've been sending folks down to Bar Harbor Whale Watch all season, so we get to enjoy their tours for free (on stand-by, of course). It was a sunny day with calm waters, so we headed out on the Lighthouse / Somes Sound tour. Very interesting tour, lots of history of the area and some wildlife too.
On the waterfront in Bar Harbor

Looking down West Street

Same boat we were on for the Nature Cruise

The Precipice on Champlain Mountain

Interesting trivia: the mansion in this photo at the base of the Precipice was built by Rudolf Brunnow for his fiance who was in Europe. Unfortunately, she did not survive the trip over to see it, as she booked her way on the Titanic. He spent many years after than focused on designing and building his trail, on his mountain. Brunnow designed and built the Precipice Trail (most famous, and most dangerous, trail in the park). He was a Princeton professor, which is why a part of the trail is named the Orange and Black Path in honor of Princeton's school colors.
Sand Beach with the Beehive on the left

Thunder Hole not thundering today

Look at all the climbers on Otter Cliffs!

These are some of my favorite mountains - from left, Cadillac, Dorr, Huguenot, Champlain, and Gorham

Bear Island Light

Granite quarry on Somes Sound

Memorial at the base of Acadia Mountain on Somes Sound

Man O War Brook pouring into Somes Sound

Somes Sound has sheltered boats for centuries, with a ready source of fresh water from Man O War Brook

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

Bass Harbor Light is on the southwest side of our island, so we had previously visited from land

Looking back at Cadillac Mtn and the other east side peaks

Egg Rock Light

LOTS of harbor seals and gray seals - the population is rebounding here

Two immature bald eagles - their primary prey here is birds, not fish

Returning to Bar Harbor, Margaret Todd the schooner and the Bar Harbor Inn

People walking over to Bar Island on "The Bar" which will be a large land bridge at low tide